HomeNewsPeople of IonE: Sabine Engel’s 2018 year in review

People of IonE: Sabine Engel’s 2018 year in review

There’s no doubt 2018 has been a busy year at IonE. From setting ambitious new goals to announcing a significant new private-sector partnership, we’ve taken exciting strides towards helping people and the planet prosper together. Each member of our community, inside and outside of our campus walls, has helped make it happen. One of these changemakers is Sabine Engel, IonE’s director of international partnerships and project lead for Climate-Smart Municipalities.

To Engel, relationships are “all about people and the trust that develops over years.” It’s especially true of her well established professional relationships, many of which cross the borders of cities, states, and nations, and foster a pioneering force for the clean energy transition. Through Climate-Smart Municipalities, Engel convenes energy professionals and students alike to form relationships that are prosperous not just interpersonally, but economically and environmentally, as well. They’re bonds she describes as blessings, and few would disagree: from Emmy triumphs to prestigious University honors, this fall has been full of recognition for IonE’s Sabine Engel. Here are just a few of her exciting achievements.

An Emmy for Climate-Smart Municipalities: Cities Working Together

With Twin Cities PBS at the helm, Climate Smart: Cities Working Together explores the relationship between five Minnesota cities (Duluth, Elk River, Morris, Rochester, and Warren) and the German state of West Rhine Westphalia as they collaborate to find efficient and sustainable responses to the effects of climate change. At a ceremony in early October, Climate-Smart was awarded a Midwest Emmy in the Science/Environment category.

As Engel says in the documentary, “the project is not just to figure out what could be done, but to actually do something, to implement something.” Stephen Kelley, a Senior Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs who traveled with Sabine on the Berlin Energy Seminar, says she brought the team together with flying colors. “One of the best things about Sabine is her ability to combine gracefully several objectives into one project,” he tells IonE. “She creates a sense of hospitality in the different exchanges that gives all participants a warm feeling about the work.”

Awarded 2018 University of Minnesota Award for Global Engagement

Engel poses after receiving the 2018 University of Minnesota Award for Global Engagement.

On November 29, Sabine was one of four recipients of the 2018 University of Minnesota Award for Global Engagement, which is awarded to faculty and staff members at the University of Minnesota in recognition of outstanding contributions towards global education and international programs within the University or within the awardee’s discipline.

This award was particularly meaningful for Engel, as it recognizes her efforts to connect her birth country of Germany with her chosen home of Minnesota. “I am an immigrant to the U.S. and Minnesota. The culture of generosity and openness I encountered in Minnesota transformed my life,” she explains. “I feel immense gratitude for being able to add something of value to our state, the U, and my birth country of Germany.” She was presented with the award at a ceremony on November 29, 2018.

As the new year approaches, we wouldn’t be surprised if a few more recognitions were in store for our Director of International Partnerships. Whatever 2019 may bring, however, one thing’s for certain: it will be embraced with the drive, determination, and spunk that have destined Sabine for the clean energy spotlight all along.

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